Old Ferraris, Jags And Porsches Have Their Engines Swapped For Electric Powertrains

Ten years ago, electric vehicles were extraordinarily rare and rather unrefined but in 2019, they’re not only becoming increasingly common from the world’s largest automakers but have started to pique the interest of car builders looking to update the powertrains of classic automobiles.

Small companies converting gas-powered vehicles to electricity have started to pop up around the world and the BBC recently had the opportunity to speak with Richard Morgan, the owner of Electric Classic Cars in Newtown, Wales.

Also Watch: James May Horrified To See Honda Valve Caps On His Ferrari 308 GTB

In recent years, Morgan has converted numerous ICE vehicles to electricity, including a Ferrari 308. Morgan refers to himself as an “ex-petrolhead” who has been converted to electricity and won over by the numerous advantages which EVs offer over vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel.

“It was nothing environmental, purely from a car point of view. How can I make it faster, better, more reliable?” Morgan describes when referring to his decision to open up his shop three years ago. In addition to converting a Ferrari 308, he has also created an all-electric 1974 BMW E9 and a Porsche 911 Targa. The Ferrari will hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in approximately 3.5 seconds and Morgan says that time could be lowered to 2.7-seconds but other components of the car wouldn’t be able to handle such acceleration.

Electric car builders often source their powertrains from Nissan Leaf or Tesla vehicles that have been crashed. Most then remove the engine and fuel tank from the cars they’re working on and replace them with a battery pack and an electric motor often connected up to the car’s original gearbox. Such conversions cost upwards of $24,000, but as more electric vehicles hit the roads, prices will inevitably start to fall and classic cars powered by electricity will become more common.

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  • yonceous

    ok cool

  • Jesse Sahely

    makes me sick

  • FordMopar

    Electric this, electric that! Heeeyyy, let’s turn old classics into electric. I am so goddamn sick of electric cars!

    • Big Black Duck

      please go breathe in more fumes..

      • FordMopar

        Didn’t I just read an article a while ago about electric cars that aren’t exactly clean? Yea. No such thing. Enjoy your boring life….

        • Exotics

          No you just read some fake news from Big Oil’s Anti-EV campaign

          Please don’t tell me you are that gullible

          EV’s have no tailpipe. Put your mouth over the exhaust pipe of your gas car and if you aren’t seriously sick in 30 minutes come back on here and reply to my comment saying you are okay. That will determine whether or not your car is no big deal

          It is very serious. That is the actuality of the gas car you drive everyday.

          You think nothing of it because the tailpipe is on the outside emitting into our atmosphere

          • FordMopar

            Zzzzzzzz…. blah blah. I’m talking about turning classics into damn electric for no reasons. Electric cars are boring! Yea yea, they take off really faaaasttt, I know. I’m not stupid. Just my opinion. I don’t like these. I’m going to die in the future. You will too. Ain’t no point of saving the Earth right now.

          • HD

            Not for you, but for our children and grandchildren and for other species yes. You can choose to be egoistic, but let other people care.

    • Exotics

      You’re so in denial

      • FordMopar

        Nope. It’s called an opinion, man… in general, these are boring!

  • Honda NSX-R

    I haven’t even read the comment section yet but I can feel the anger in there already

  • Big Black Duck

    Would love to get the 2002-2005 Thunderbird electrified or a DelOrean

  • Bo Hanan

    And no pictures of the battery packs???!!!
    P.S. Oooooh that JAG……

  • Matt

    If there’s one thing that will get me into an electric car it’s a manual gearbox. I like how they retain the car’s older transmission but still, seems a waste of models that are becoming increasingly rare.

    • Exotics

      Because manuals are subservient and always have been

      • Matt

        I think people have stopped caring what you think…

  • pcurve

    These people need to be arrested.

  • Alduin

    What a shame and a waste. There also goes their values plummeting like a rock into a lake. Who wants a classic Ferrari or Jag with a Tesla powertrain? Yuck.

    • HD

      I do

    • Exotics

      I wouldn’t drive a ferrari or jag unless it was electric

      • Alduin

        Then you are an idiot.

  • Mr. EP9

    That’s a strong no from me. All you’re doing is destroying the value of the car. And no, I’d rather the classics be left along instead of converted to an EV just to “keep it on the road.”

    • Bash

      Excellent point of view. I don’t mind the EV but just leave the classic cars alone.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Love it.

  • m_1

    This is tragic. Although, I would add that converting an old car with a crap engine (e.g. DeLorean) is fine with me. Converting cars with characterful engines that define them as vehicles is wasteful, stupid and destructive. If I had the money, I’d buy all these cars up to prevent one from doing it.

  • MarketAndChurch

    That’s pretty cool. I don’t mind it so long as the work doesn’t harm/alter the original car, and the original engine is put away somewhere safely. If you want to piss off everyone, including ev-owners, than place a Nissan Leaf engine into a Ferrari, but I’m sure that’s not the case and that they’re using Tesla power-plant’s instead.

    • CarCzarDesigner

      Maybe it’s not so cool, after all. Because everyone should understand once you replace the engine of a Ferrari with something else, it ceases to be a Ferrari. Just ask the Ferrari Owners Club or the factory! The only thing that could change that is IF Ferrari comes up with a replacement electric engine of their own. I would think with the upcoming ban on ICE’s, the factory would be working on this.

      • MarketAndChurch

        Very well said.

  • Benoît Etienne

    this is the future whether we like it or not. glass half full: there is a way for our classics to keep on living beyond ICE prohibition. i’ll take it as a good news


  • db

    Aren’t there laws against this type of behavior? Give these owners a couple of years and I bet they seriously regret transforming them to EVs. You are gutting the sheer pleasure of the drive, the sound of the engine, the rowing of the gears.
    Plus their resale will dramatically drop with all the aftermarket shenanigans under the hood.

    Bad idea, if they really want an EV, go buy a Model 3.

    • JqC

      For all my belief in EVs, I agree with you. If you have this type of ferrari or Jag, hold it. In it’s original form. It may be outlawed later on to actually drive those vehicles, who knows, but it is going to be exceptionally rare and very valuable. Instead, purchase a new EV purpose built with your bucks. I could be wrong.

      • db

        You could be wrong but I doubt it. For starters, I would question if some of these classics can even withstand some of the available torque that EVs are capable of, the interiors aren’t really EV friendly because of the different gauges required so how much of the wiring would need replacing plus the loss of the originality factor.

        I certainly don’t see converting but I guess if these folks own these cars, they are free to do what they want with them as sad as it may be.

    • Exotics

      All these old cars smell absolutely disgusting and have terrible gear boxes.

      I would drive all of them as EV’s.

      • db

        Then may I suggest you change your avatar because I don’t really think there are any exotic EVs, not yet anyways.

    • FordMopar

      Heeyyy, this man gets it!

      • db

        Thanx bro, I think there are still a few of us around, maybe we just aren’t as loud as the rest.

        • FordMopar

          Oh yea I’m gonna be loud as I can all over these electric articles. Ha. I have nothing against people getting these. It’s just boring to me.

  • KAG25

    I would rock a EV, imagine a old Alfa GTV that doesn’t break down.
    Or, a fast 356.
    A MG that works all summer.

    • Matt

      An Alfa GTV with no Busso V6 is no longer a GTV…

      • KAG25

        ….so, who cares, it would work.

  • FordMopar

    Electric all cars are booooooorriiinngggg …… I don’t give a F about how clean they are. I’m talking about in general. Just leave damn classic cars alone!

    • HD

      You clearly haven’t driven electric cars.


  • as much as i don’t like the idea, it probably wouldn’t be such a bad idea for a brand to produce an aftermarket EV kit for retrofitting older vehicles in such a way that they can be reverted later on if the owner desires.

    like an engine/transmission shaped EV unit that contains an motor, batteries and control unit that could bolt right up to the existing engine and transmission mounts.

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